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India marched their way into the final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after beating Bangladesh by 9 wickets in Birmingham. India have had a pretty successful tournament with three wins and a loss that came against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli’s men were placed in Group B alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and South Africa.
India vs Pakistan
India began the tournament against Pakistan at Edgbaston. Batting first, India rode on Rohit Sharma’s emphatic knock of 91 runs to post 319/2 in 50 overs. Apart from Rohit, it was Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh’s brutal batting display that guided India to a mammoth total. Pakistan had a decent start with Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali chipping in with 47-run partnership but regular loss of wickets saw Pakistan fall short of the target in a rain curtailed match as they were bundled out for 164. Umesh Yadav emerged as the pick of the bowlers with three wickets. India won the match by 124 runs (D/L Method).
India vs Sri Lanka
Virat Kohli’s men then met Angelo Mathews-led Sri Lankan side in their second group game at the Oval. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma unfolded yet another master class with the bat as the two compiled 138 runs on the board. Skipper Kohli experienced a rare failure in the process as he was undone for a duck but Dhoni’s 52-ball 63 was enough to anchor India to a total of 321/6 in 50 overs. In reply, Sri Lanka lost Dickwella early in the innings but a 159 run-stand between Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis provided them with resistance. Gunathilaka was later ran-out for 76 while Mendis was sent back in the hut in the same manner for 89. Later, skipper Mathews along with Kusal Perera stitched a stand of 75 runs before Perera was retired hurt. Sri Lanka eventually won the match by 7 wickets.
India vs South Africa
The defending champions needed to win this match to make a place in the semi-finals. The encounter against South Africa was being considered as a virtual quarter-final as both teams had won and lost one game each in their group stages. Batting first, South Africa were restricted to 191 in 44.3 overs in London. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah scalped two wickets apiece while Ashwin, Jadeja and Pandya picked one each. In reply, India lost Rohit Sharma early in the chase when the team score read 23 but 128-run partnership between Dhawan and Kohli anchored India to a win by 8 wickets. Dhawan scored 78 while skipper Kohli remained unbeaten at 76 during the process to march their way into the semi-final stage.
India vs Bangladesh (Semi-final)
After marching their way ahead in the tournament, India met Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston. Bangladesh registered a semi-final berth after beating New Zealand in their third and last Group A match. Kohli won the toss and put Bangladesh into bat first. Bhuvneshwar Kumar started off the bowling in a perfect manner as he scalped Soumya Sarkar for a duck and later removed dangerous looking Sabbir Rahman for 19. But a partnership of 123 between Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim provided Bangladesh with much needed resistance before Iqbal was cleaned up by Kedar Jadhav. Wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals for Bangladesh and they were left tottering at 229/7 before captain Mashrafe Mortaza came in for the rescue. He scored unbeaten 30 to take hi team to 264/7 in 50 overs.
Indian openers in reply gave another flamboyant start to the Indian side. Rohit and Dhawan scored 87 for the first wicket before Mortaza removed Dhawan for 46. India didn’t lose any further wickets as Rohit Sharma notched up yet another hundred in the process. He remained unbeaten at 123 while captain Virat Kohli scored 96*.
India will now meet Pakistan at the Oval in the title clash on Sunday.